Josh Ruebner is the National Advocacy Director of the US Campaign to End the Israeli Occupation, a Washington, D.C.-based coalition of several hundred anti-Israel groups from across the United States. The US Campaign is one of the primary organizers of anti-Israel strategies and initiatives in the U.S. and is a driving force behind the campaign to end U.S. foreign aid to Israel.
Ruebner, the author of a recently released book called Shattered Hopes: Obama’s Failure to Broker Israeli-Palestinian Peace, has frequently used extreme language to condemn Israel, its policies, and its supporters in the United States. He has alleged that the “Israel lobby” controls U.S. policy, claiming in a 2011 article in The Huffington Post that Congress is backed by the “fearsome power of the Israel Lobby,” and arguing in an interview that same year that Israel’s supporters try to “suppress debate and suppress information.”
In March 2013, Ruebner published a blog post on the Web site of The Hill, a Congressional newspaper. In the article, Ruebner described AIPAC supporters as “Israel-first” lobbyists, a reference to the anti-Semitic charge that Jews are more loyal to Israel than the U.S. He argued that instead of spending the money here at home, “AIPAC demands that the United States underwrite approximately 20 percent of the Israeli military budget...U.S. taxpayers are thereby made complicit in Israel’s systematic violation of Palestinian human rights, its military occupation and illegal colonization of Palestinian land, and its apartheid policies toward Palestinians which deny them freedom and self-determination.” He also claimed that U.S. support for Israel “guts the credibility of U.S. claims to promote human rights.”
In a speech at Rollins College in March 2012, Ruebner claimed that the Israeli government studied what the Nazis did in the Warsaw Ghetto in order to “attack and kill Palestinians in the Gaza Strip,” directly analogizing the worst atrocity of all time with Israel’s military blockade of the Gaza Strip.
In a January 2009 radio interview during Operation Cast Lead (an Israeli military operation targeting Hamas infrastructure in the Gaza Strip), Ruebner sought to draw parallels between Israel’s defensive measures and Hamas rocket attacks, arguing that if it’s illegal for Hamas to launch rockets, “then the same thing needs to hold true for Israel’s actions.” He also appeared to legitimize Hamas rocket attacks as “not irrational or fanatic” because they are a response to the “fearsome bombardment by Israel on a relative continuous basis for the last 40 years.”
In 2002, Ruebner wrote an article published by CounterPunch, a far Left newsletter, in which he claimed that terrorist attacks targeting the U.S. are a direct result of U.S. support for Israel: “When the State Department has the audacity to blame the victim and calls on Palestinians to halt Israel’s violence, this is a sure-fire sign of a morally bankrupt policy…How many more Twin Towers need to fall before we realize that there are indeed consequences of the action (or inaction) that our democratically elected government takes in our name?”